The CenTex Fieldhouse: Week 7 action

TPI has added a new edition to the team and to the site with The CenTex Fieldhouse. H. Horne shares his insights from watching hours of high school video and visiting with Austin area coaches. Here is his weekly report. This week's edition is free.

Upcoming Game of the Week: Stony Point v. Cedar Park 
Most folks that follow Central Texas football and District 16-5A in particular have seen this game looming on the horizon since this summer. Both teams run similar Offenses and I have been told that work for the Scout Team Offense was pretty easy from an execution stand point for Cedar Park and I imagine the same was true for Stony Point. The real contrast is in styles: Size/Power vs. Explosive Speed/Power. McNeil and Cedar Park are the only schools in the District that match up well with Stony Point because of their OL size and power running game. McNeil actually gave Stony Point a good scare last week before pulling ahead late for a 21-14 win. Trying to run on the edges against Stony Point in not an option for most teams as Stony Point has incredible Team Speed. Stony Point has as much talent in their secondary as any high school team in Texas. Look for Cedar Park to try to turn this into a back alley brawl while Stony Point will try to make it an up-tempo track meet. The winner is pretty much assured the District Title as both enter the game at 4-0.

Team of the Week: Canyon Lake 
The days of kicking Canyon Lake HS around while they were down were brief and are now officially over. CLHS opened their doors in 2007 and fielded their first real varsity team last year with no seniors. They then proceeded to take their lumps loosing 9 games including several 40+ losses. Well, congrats to Coach Monzingo and CLHS for getting things turned around in a hurry. Last Friday CLHS turned the tables on Liberty Hill (2 recent State Championships) and beat them 14-7 avenging last years 56-0 loss. CLHS started the season by taking care of Blanco 21-14 after losing by 63 last season. Don't get mad – get even. Way to go Hawks!

Best Coaching performance for Week 7: 
James Howell and Gene Scoggin: Luling HS. As been widely reported throughout Central Texas, on October 9th, Luling Head Coach Robert Dean Jr. passed away very unexpectedly. He was only 41 and had a very brief illness. Being a coach is a tough job and it takes a certain type of personality and mindset – especially a high school football coach in Texas. Being prepared for such a difficult situation had to have been unimaginable for assistant coaches Howell and Scoggin. By all accounts they have done an incredible job helping these young men grieve for their coach and also adjust to football without their beloved coach. At first, Luling had planned to cancel their October 8th game against SA Sam Houston but then decided to play citing that is what Coach Dean would have wanted. The Luling Eagles have played inspired football and have won two games since Coach Dean's passing in the most difficult of situations. I'm sure Coach Dean would be proud of his boys and his Staff.

Best Player performance for Week 7: 
Savon Thomas Senior DT - Pflugerville HS. Mr. Thomas did his best Reggie White impression last Friday night as he came up with 3 huge QB sacks against Austin High and helped Pflugerville jump up to a 14 point half time lead before Austin High roared back in the 3rd to make a game of it. Thomas has good balance and is quick off the ball which he used to beat his man. Thomas also has a knack for being a ball magnet. Fumbles don't just come to him – they bounce right up into his hands and he got another one late in the game to preserve the win for Pflugerville.

Game Film Observations:
1. Hutto v. Marble Falls
This past Friday Hutto got production out of two quarterbacks. Alondre Thorn (#2 QB/DB – JR) does a great job at QB running the ball and running option plays. Thorn has also shown he can throw the ball as well but he is really outstanding as a DB where he has a real knack for coming up with the ball when it is in the air. Thorn put up huge rushing numbers against Marble Falls including a spectacular 50 yard run down the visitor sideline. Ryan Higgins (#12 QB – Soph) is the young pocket QB and got in some good work early in the game and just not in mop up duty. Higgins shows good footwork and throws a nice spiral with some zip on it. One of Hutto's best weapons is Alex Aday (#14 WR/DB – JR) who shows great hands and even greater speed to make tough catches over the middle and also break up passes including one in the end zone. Probably the most exciting play was turned in by Trevor Hayes (#5 WR – SR) who took an end-around handoff from 45 yards out to the house weaving his way through the Marble Falls D breaking about 5 tackles. 

For Marble Falls, Zed Woerner (#7 QB – Soph) is the future for Mustang Football. Coach Woerner's son Zed has some real talent but a sophomore QB is always going to have his fair share of mistakes – along with the great plays – and Woerner had both. Another player for Marble Falls that grabbed my attention was Justin Garcia (#4 DB/RB - SR). Garcia played with an obvious edge and without fear. His toughness has got to help the Mustangs down the road as they are still in the fight for a final playoff spot.

2. Austin v. Pflugerville 
This was the first time for me to check out Austin High this year and they have several impressive athletes. Jacob Morgan (#8 QB –SR) is a physically impressive QB standing around 6'3" and going around 210 pounds. Morgan does not get rattled in the pocket and has a strong arm. One of Morgan's best targets is Caleb Jones (#4 WR – Soph) who has incredible physical skills and is not doubt destined to be a top prospect in the Austin area. Jones, while only being a sophomore, is a very physical receiver and has a good feel on how to use his height advantage. I was also impressed with Darrell Green (#90 DT – SR) who is an explosive DT and had several tackles for loss after beating double team blocks. Perhaps the biggest hitter for Austin High is Daniel Laudermilk (#11 LB – JR) who has great footwork that allows him to build up speed in a short distance to really unload on ball carriers. Another defensive player for Austin High that caught me eye was Temple Baker (#7 LB – JR) who played aggressive and full speed throughout the game. Baker came up with several tackles for loss included a nice QB sack.

The most dangerous player on the field for Pflugerville, outside of Savon Thomas, last Friday night was Sammy Flowers (#4 RB – JR). Flowers got the Panthers off to a hot start with an electrifying, coach-heart-attack-inducing TD run on Pflugerville's first play from scrimmage. Flowers broke left, right and then back left giving up 10 yards and then finally getting to the sideline for a 35 yard TD run – breaking about 8 tackles along the way. Along with Flowers, Desmond Smith (#23 RB – SR) has a very productive night breaking off a few nice runs while using his blocking very effectively. As usual this season, Sean Ianno (#17 K – SR) contributes significantly with his booming kickoffs that nearly always end in touchbacks as his kicks are almost always fielded in the End Zone. Along with Thomas, Ty Turner (#73 DT – SR) is a pure explosive fireplug that wreaks havoc on O-lineman. This week Pflugerville is at Austin Akins while Bastrop visits Austin High.

3. Austin Anderson v. Bastrop 
So back before the start of the season who would have imagined the Bastrop Bears would be in the drivers seat for District 25-5A and also be undefeated at 7-0? Not many folks but right now Bastrop is one of the hottest teams in Central Texas and survived a trap game for them against a very dangerous Austin Anderson team. After beating Westlake last week in a close and emotional game, I'm sure the Bastrop coaching staff tried all week to get them to come back to earth and focus on Anderson. Sometimes a good scare like this can get a team to really focus going down towards the end of the regular season. For Bastrop, everything begins with Josiah Monroe (#8 B – JR). Monroe is worth the price of admission and strongly recommend watching this kid play if given the chance. Monroe is just not an electrifying scrambler that is almost impossible to tackle in the open field, he is becoming a very effective passer with over 1400 yards passing in 7 games. Contributing to Bastrop's cause greatly was Colton Tucker (#40 LB – SR) who shows a great nose for the ball and is a solid tackler. Tucker is also a pretty good return man turning in a 50 yard kickoff return during crunch time. Bastrop also has a good one in Bernard Blake (#10 DB – SR) who is a strong and physical DB and not afraid to put his nose into contact.

Anderson got plenty of plays out of their stud linebacker Conner Sheehan (#44 LB – JR) who also mixed in a very nice kickoff return on a short kick. Sheehan is an excellent form tackler. He is always in perfect position and can go from sideline to sideline. A surprise for me was the play of Breylin Wilson (#80 DE – JR) whom I have not noticed up until now. Wilson showed great speed in working down the line of scrimmage and made tackles when he got close to the ball carrier. Opening holes for the talented Anderson backfield is Nate Shaw (#55 OL – SR). Shaw's physical tools are better suited to Linebacker in that he is a bit undersized for Guard at the 5A level. What he lacks in size, Shaw makes up in toughness and quickness as he is often asked to pull in an effort the get the RBs to the edges. 
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Send me your comments and feedback at hhorne@mac.com and visit my website (www.hhorne.com) for more video recruiting info. Have a great weekend of Football!
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Each week I visit several coaches around Central Texas and collect game video as a Football Recruiting Producer (H. Horne Sports Video). I also get a chance to talk to football dads and moms, area sports writers, high school athletes and other folks in the know. My weekly report to TPI is the perfect forum to share these observations and inside info with other Texas HS Football lovers.


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